Four areas of north Wales to enter local lockdowns from Thursday

29 September 2020, 18:36 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 19:10

File photo: People wear face coverings as they queue for shops and businesses in Cardiff
File photo: People wear face coverings as they queue for shops and businesses in Cardiff. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Four areas of north Wales are set to enter local lockdowns amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham will be subject to tighter lockdown restrictions from 6pm on Thursday.

The areas, with a population of over 500,000, join most of south Wales under a local lockdown as cases in most of the country soared.

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The new restrictions mean three quarters of the Welsh population are now living under stricter conditions.

People will not be allowed to enter or leave each of these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.

All licensed premises will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.

Residents will also only be allowed to meet people from other households outdoors, and will not be able to form, or be in, extended households.

7,143 coronavirus cases have been reported across the UK in the past 24 hours - the largest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were also 71 further deaths, the largest daily increase since early August, bringing the UK total to 42,072.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething, said: “Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in four north Wales local authority areas – in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and Conwy. These are largely linked to people socialising indoors and are the pattern of transmission similar to what we have seen in South Wales.

“We have worked closely with local authority leaders and the police in North Wales and we all agree about the need to take swift action to control and the spread of the virus.

“Large parts of Wales will now be subject to local restrictions but I want to be clear – this is not a national lockdown. These are a series of local restrictions to respond to rises in cases in individual areas.

“It’s always difficult to make the decision to impose restrictions but we hope that these measures will make a positive difference – just as we have seen in Caerphilly and Newport, where local residents have pulled together and followed the rules.

“It is important we all work together and support each other. This isn’t just about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting each other.”

The local restrictions will not be introduced in Anglesey or Gwynedd at this stage, where cases are lower.

The overall number of cases confirmed in the UK as of 9am on Tuesday is 446,156, according to the Government's coronavirus dashboard.

Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been nearly 57,900 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.